Kobe Bryant: Working Harder Wasn’t Enough

(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Kobe Bryant is a hard-working maniac. There are countless stories about Kobe Bryant’s work ethic and competitiveness, enough to make it seem as if the Black Mamba was truly a legend or story itself. Recently, Bryant published a piece to the Players Tribune which details his obsession towards Allen Iverson.

Per Player’s Tribune:

“On March 19, 1999, Iverson put 41 points and 10 assists on me in Philadelphia.

Working harder wasn’t enough.

I had to study this man maniacally.

I obsessively read every article and book I could find about AI. I obsessively watched every game he had played, going back to the IUPU All-American Game. I obsessively studied his every success, and his every struggle. I obsessively searched for any weakness I could find.

I searched the world for musings to add to my AI Musecage.

This led me to study how great white sharks hunt seals off the coast of South Africa.

The patience. The timing. The angles.

On Feb 20, 2000, in Philadelphia, PJ gave me the assignment of guarding AI at the start of the second half. No one knew how much this challenge meant to me.

I wanted him to feel the frustration I felt.

I wanted everyone who laughed at the 41 and 10 he put on me to choke on their laughter.”

Kobe Bryant understood to be great. He had to turn his love for the game into an obsession, an absolute need to be the best. He swore, from that point on, to view every matchup as “a matchup of life and death”. This attitude led to 5 NBA titles in 20 seasons with the LA Lakers. It is also this attitude that defined the legacy of the Black Mamba.

Thank you, Kobe.


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